It’s been awhile since I’ve written specifically on this topic. Photo Book Baby (or should I say Photo Book Toddler) is almost four years old and I will admit that I haven’t finished his baby book yet. So, I really mean it when I say, “It’s never too late to make a photo book!” I have so many readers who write with regret about not having a wedding album or having five years of family vacations waiting to be put into photo books. Don’t beat yourself up about it, just make a plan and get started.
Now to be clear, I have made many, many photo books of my son, plus a big year in review photo book for each of his first three years thus far, but not an actual baby book. I’m talking specifically about a baby book in the traditional sense – where you put a copy of the birth certificate, details of the birth, milestones, and ultrasound photos. I wrote an earlier post on what to include in your custom baby book. I’ve been collecting material for my baby book for the last three years and recently I’ve begun to create the layouts. Because it’s not being done until now, I can include select photos from his first three years as well from birthday parties and holidays. This post is an update on resources I’ve found for the “fun” stuff you may want to include. My goal is to help you find the info you may want to include without too much effort.
As you saw from the title of this post, baby books aren’t just for babies. If a family member or good friend is celebrating a milestone birthday, a compilation of many of these “baby book extras” would make for a great present. If that person is someone who already has everything – this is probably something he/she doesn’t have and would love to receive! Here’s a sample layout from a milestone birthday book I made for a family member recently. This shows the entire spread. I have a closer view further down in the post.
This Day in History
Start off by putting the birth date in Google or similar search engine. That will lead you to any number of other results like top headlines, world events etc. Even easier, check out these specific day in history sites below. Just type in the birth date – and watch the events, and historical info pop up.
The People History – Features world events. Also for fun, especially if you’re making a baby book for someone older (a milestone birthday), you can include info on some vintage toys that came out the year they were born. See Vintage Toys from 1920s to 1990s.
Brainy History – has an easy to search and quick loading site to obtain a list of important historical events, and famous birthdays.
Wikipedia – easy to find events and births with clickable links to more details on each.
Billboard Number One Singles – What was the top song for the week?
Box Office Number One Films – I could not find a good site for this. But if you perform a Google search on a term such as, “top movies” and the date including year, the search results should take you to a Wikipedia page with a whole list of movies and dates.
Grammy Winners by Year – Official Grammy site is easy to search by year.
Oscar Winners by Year – Official Academy Awards site is also easy to search by year.
Emmy Winners by Year – Official Emmys site also searchable by year.
Presidents of the U.S. – Wikipedia site with list of presidents and vice-presidents and years of office
ChampionshipHistory.com – For you sports fans, of course you’re going to want to include the year’s winning teams from your favorite sports. This site includes Super Bowl winners, World Series Champs, Stanley Cup winners and a lot more.
Hometown News on The Day of Birth
I’m not sure how many folks buy a physical newspaper nowadays, but your hometown newspaper may have an archive. For me it was easiest to type in the name of the local paper and the date into Google and see what popped up. I was able to find an archive that reaches back to the 1800s!
Cost of Living Data
It’s fun to look back to see how much a gallon of gas or postage stamp cost way back. You can type in a search term such as, “average cost of living + year” and you’ll see results for that year pop up.
The People History – Just click on a decade at the top of the page and then click on a specific year. Gives info on interest rates, average cost of new home, average rent, gallon of milk
Look up your child’s zodiac sign and create a page in your baby book on the characteristics of that sign. A fun addition.
Horoscope.com – Also provides basic list of ruling planets, symbols, elements, favorable colors, lucky gemstones
Don’t forget to look up your child’s birthdate on the Chinese calendar to get his or hers Chinese zodiac sign. Remember that the Chinese new year doesn’t start the same day each year because it follows a lunar calendar.
ChineseZodiac.com – Gives basic personality profiles
Travel China Guide.com – Basic personality profile, lucky numbers, lucky colors and flowers, celebrities born in that year
Top Names by Birth Year
U.S. Social Security Administration Top Baby Names – Find a database of top 10 names for boys and girls in any given year. You can also look up by state, decade. It’s fun to include a list of top names for the year of your child’s birth and see how your child’s name ranked for that year.
Meaning of Baby’s Name
You probably visited a few of these sites in trying to come up with your baby’s name. It’s nice to include name meanings and name origins along with a personal account of how you chose your baby’s name. If you’ve also chosen an “unofficial” name based on family heritage or nickname, be sure to include background on that as well.
If you plan to cut and paste any text into your photo books, be sure to convert the copied text to “plain text”. If you don’t, you may unexpectedly wind up with odd character spacing which you will not be able to tell when you look at the preview. (It’s happened to me before!) The reason is programs like Microsoft Word and Word Perfect documents often contain other formatting information that you may unwittingly copy along with the text. So be sure to check out the bottom of this post for the right way to add text to your photo book.
For my other top posts on Baby Photo Books, check out the link!